March 10, 2016 | Commentary on China Military Modernization, Pacific Ocean, China

China's "Blue Soil"

Recent Chinese documents and statements on maritime issues reflects this growing interest and focus on naval power. It should also raise concerns .

In the 2010 China’s Ocean Development Report from the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the Chinese made their first official statement that they were building and developing a carrier fleet. That’s the part that got most of the attention.  But perhaps more relevant was the reference in that report to the littoral waters as China’s “blue soil,” with the implications that territorial claims to the waters are as fundamental as the claims to land territory.

 - Dean Cheng is the senior research fellow for Chinese political and security affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

 - This piece originally appeared in War on the Rocks and can be viewed in full at

About the Author

Dean Cheng Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center
Asian Studies Center

Originally appeared in War on the Rocks